Brewers: No deal with Garza yet, talks ongoing

After a quick period in Texas, Matt Garza may be headed back to the particular NL Central.

(USATSI)After a quick stint in Texas, Matt Garza may be headed back to the NL Central.
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The Brewers may be close to signing free agent beginning pitcher Matt Garza to what was initially reported as a 4 year, $52 million deal. previously Thursday, it was believed that the deal was final impending a physical. However, early thurs evening the Brewers launched the following statement:

Despite media reports, discussions between the Brewers and he Garza are ongoing, yet there is no deal yet.

 

There's no indicator that this wrinkle has anything to do with Garza's medicals, but it's still really worth noting that he's arriving off two injury-plagued months. Snyder

avoid sleep on the Brewers

 

Garza, 30, is arguably the top beginning pitcher left on the market right after Masahiro Tanaka signed with the Yankees Wednesday. The right-hander was 10-6 with a few. 82 ERA (106 ERA+), 1. 24 WHIP plus 136 strikeouts in one hundred fifty five 1/3 innings last time of year with the Cubs (11 starts) and Rangers (13 starts).

 

within 60 starts for the Cubs, Garza was 21-18 with a 3. 45 ERA (115 ERA+) and 1. twenty one WHIP, so heading back to the NL Central bodes nicely for his chances in success.

 

Garza

potentially

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Japan-MLB posting talks hit snag; Tanaka in limbo

Will Masahiro Tanaka not be a free agent this offseason after all?
Will Masahiro Tanaka not be a free agent this offseason in any case? (USATSI)

The last we heard on the MLB’s negotiations with Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan) on a brand new posting system got here in late October and the message was optimistic.

The news from Bud Selig’s news conference on the matter Thurday from the GM conferences in Orlando, Fla. brought fairly a unique tone, nonetheless.

Resembling this:

Or, more to the point of what it means for this present offseason, this:

Oh boy.

First issues first. The posting system is a way for Japanese groups to be compensated for losing their players to Major League Baseball earlier than they hit free company in NPB. In previous years, there was a blind bidding process to the NPB membership whose participant needs to hitch the majors, with the very best bidder successful the rights to barter a contract with said player. If no agreement is reached with the player, the posting fee is returned to the membership.

Let’s use Yu Darvish as the instance.

Darvish determined to put up to MLB after the 2011 season. The Rangers gained the rights to barter with him by posting $fifty one.7 million to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. They then had 30 days to signal him and ended up doing so quarter-hour before the deadline. They signed him to a six-yr, $56 million deal, so the Ham Fighters obtained to keep the $51.7 million whereas Darvish got his $56 million. Had he not signed, the Rangers wouldn’t have needed to pay a dime to anybody.

The proposal for changes to the system would allow the player some input in the course of. Stories have indicated either the top two or three blind bidders would have a shot at signing the participant, so he would have some choice in the matter.

However, apparently, that isn’t going over too effectively with NPB.

If no settlement is reached, Masahiro Tanaka is not going anyplace this offseason – which would be an enormous blow to the many groups thinking about signing the potential ace. It could additionally increase the marketability of the present high free-agent starters like Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez.

Tanaka, who simply turned 25 on Nov. 1, went 24-0 with a 1.27 PERIOD, zero.ninety four WHIP and 183 strikeouts in 212 innings last season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. His ERA hasn’t been north of 1.90 since 2010, when he was 21.

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Japan-MLB posting talks hit snag; Tanaka in limbo

 

Will Masahiro Tanaka not be a free agent this offseason after all?Will Masahiro Tanaka not be a free agent this offseason in spite of everything? (USATSI)

 

The last we heard on the MLB’s negotiations with Nippon Skilled Baseball (Japan) on a new posting system got here in late October and the message was optimistic.

The news from Bud Selig’s news conference on the matter Thurday from the GM conferences in Orlando, Fla. introduced quite a different tone, however.

Equivalent to this:

MLB rising impatient with Japanese baseball officials about amended posting system, could lead them to change proposal

— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) November 14, 2013

Or, more to the point of what it means for this present offseason, this:

Owner: “Severe reservations” among golf equipment about posting process. Attainable no settlement is reached, which means no Tanaka this off-season.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 14, 2013

Oh boy.

First issues first. The posting system is a approach for Japanese groups to be compensated for losing their players to Major League Baseball earlier than they hit free company in NPB. In earlier years, there was a blind bidding course of to the NPB membership whose participant needs to affix the majors, with the very best bidder profitable the rights to negotiate a contract with mentioned participant. If no settlement is reached with the participant, the posting fee is returned to the membership.

Let’s use Yu Darvish as the instance.

Darvish determined to post to MLB after the 2011 season. The Rangers gained the rights to negotiate with him by posting $fifty one.7 million to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. They then had 30 days to sign him and ended up doing so quarter-hour earlier than the deadline. They signed him to a six-12 months, $fifty six million deal, so the Ham Fighters received to keep the $51.7 million whereas Darvish bought his $56 million. Had he not signed, the Rangers wouldn’t have had to pay a dime to anyone.

The proposal for modifications to the system would enable the participant some enter within the course of. Studies have indicated either the top two or three blind bidders would have a shot at signing the player, so he would have some selection within the matter.

But, apparently, that is not going over too effectively with NPB.

If no agreement is reached, Masahiro Tanaka is not going anyplace this offseason – which would be a big blow to the many teams excited by signing the potential ace. It could also increase the marketability of the current prime free-agent starters like Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez.

Tanaka, who just turned 25 on Nov. 1, went 24-zero with a 1.27 PERIOD, 0.ninety four WHIP and 183 strikeouts in 212 innings final season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. His PERIOD hasn’t been north of 1.ninety since 2010, when he was 21.

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Yankees have eyes on FAs Ellsbury, Garza, Drew

Could Matt Garza be wearing pinstripes next season? (USATSI)
Could Matt Garza be wearing pinstripes next season? (USATSI)

The Yankees have been discussing several big-name free agents – including new ones Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza and Stephen Drew – as they weigh the best way to remake their crew.

The Yankees are still aiming to chop their payroll from $230 million to under $189 million, however with several free agents and retirees of their very own, they have many choices. In addition they like Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo, Brian McCann and Masahiro Tanaka, as beforehand reported.

They remain the favourite to re-sign Robinson Cano, the highest free agent available on the market, however a spot of about $a hundred and fifty million existed between the edges, with Cano on the lookout for $310 million and the Yankees willing to supply $one hundred sixty million or so up to now.

The Yankees’ flexibility comes from all their free brokers and retirees, including Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and naturally Cano. That represents about $eighty million in 2012 contracts.

The interest in Drew is intriguing in that iconic shortstop Derek Jeter is predicted to be again. Jeter has days to resolve whether or not to select up his possibility for $9.5 million, with nothing mentioned to indicate but that he may not achieve this following his harm-plagued 12 months.
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Cubs fire Sveum after two years

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs have fired supervisor Dale Sveum after finishing final in the NL Central for the first time in seven years.

The Cubs closed the season dropping forty one of their closing fifty nine video games, together with six of their final seven. They completed 66-ninety six, and Sveum went 127-197 in his two seasons on the helm. He had one yr left on a three-yr deal signed before the 2012 season.

[+] EnlargeDale SveumAP Photo/Keith SrakocicDale Sveum had one 12 months left on a three-12 months contract he signed before the 2012 season.

The move got here after a morning meeting with team president Theo Epstein.

“In the present day, we made the very tough determination to alleviate Dale Sveum of his duties as Cubs manager,” Epstein stated in an announcement. “Dale has been a dedicated chief for this team the last two seasons, and I want to thank him for all of his dedication and arduous work.”

Sveum’s job safety was undoubtedly harm by the sluggish growth of shortstop Starlin Castro and first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who appeared to regress this year. His dismissal probably will ramp up hypothesis surrounding the status of New York Yankees supervisor Joe Girardi, a Peoria, Unwell., native who played at nearby Northwestern.

Girardi’s contract with the Yankees expires at the end of October. He’ll talk with the Yankees earlier than exploring other opportunities.

Talking before Sunday’s season finale in Houston, Girardi mentioned, “It’s not my personality to pull issues out.”

Epstein was effusive in his lauding of Sveum’s effort in the news launch to announce the transfer.

“In his own genuine and understated method, Dale at all times put the team first and never complained about the hand he was dealt,” Epstein stated. “He and his employees helped us excel in game planning and defensive positioning, contributed to the emergence of several players, and helped put us in place to make some vital trades.

“I’ve no doubt that – very similar to Terry Francona, whom we hired in Boston after his stint with a dropping Phillies club – Dale will go on to great success together with his subsequent crew.”

Cubs reliever James Russell additionally praised Sveum.

“You are feeling like you’ve form of let him down,” Russell said Monday on the “Carmen and Jurko” radio present on ESPN Chicago one thousand. “Managers are those that get blamed for losing ballgames. It’s unlucky, but primarily we’re the guys out there on the sector, that actually didn’t play that properly.. and it sort of falls down on the supervisor, which type of sucks.

“Even last yr, shedding a hundred video games, which, it’d drive a lot of people crazy, he confirmed as much as the sector and was the identical particular person day in and day trip. He was great, he dealt with it awesome, it confirmed quite a bit to the gamers within the locker room and to the employees, I’d assume, as properly.

“Nobody ever had a problem with him. He’s probably the most even-keeled guys I’ve ever met. He was enjoyable to have round, and he was superior to play for.”

The Cubs had just employed Epstein and normal supervisor Jed Hoyer when Sveum was tabbed to replace Mike Quade after the 2011 season.

He had little experience as a supervisor other than an interim stint for the Milwaukee Brewers late in 2008 after Ned Yost was fired. However he did have a history with Epstein and Hoyer, having served because the Boston Pink Sox’s third-base coach in 2004 and 2005 while the Epstein and Hoyer labored within the workforce’s front office.

Sveum knew what he was stepping into, that the Cubs had been in the early levels of a high-to-backside overhaul they hoped would rework the staff right into a perennial contender. That hasn’t occurred. And if there is a payoff, Sveum won’t be round to see it.

With talented prospects comparable to Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and Kris Bryant in the system, things look promising at the minor league level. On the majors, it’s a totally different story.

With the Cubs shedding long-term prospects and dealing anybody with trade worth in an effort to construct the farm system, losses have been piling up at a staggering price even for a franchise that final won a championship in 1908. The Cubs have dropped at the very least ninety one video games in three straight seasons for the first time, and they seem like at least a yr or two from making a significant leap in the win column.

They’ve taken mostly a frugal approach in free agency, going for players with low monetary dangers moderately than making massive splashes.

The Cubs did make an enormous-ticket participant purchase last offseason, signing starter Edwin Jackson to a 4-yr, $fifty two million contract, however he is been a flop. They also traded away veteran pitchers Matt Garza and Scott Feldman and longtime left fielder Alfonso Soriano.

By way of all of it, the front office insisted Sveum would be judged on improvement quite than file, and that in all probability was his downfall, as Castro and Rizzo, who have lengthy-time period contracts, took steps back this season.

Castro continues to be an enigma, susceptible to lapses in the subject, and he couldn’t make up for it on the plate. The 2-time All-Star’s batting common has been in a gradual decline.

Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija didn’t quite ship the way the Cubs hoped, either. At occasions, he can appear like an All-Star, however he gave up 5 or extra runs eight occasions.

Sveum did not look like in any actual jeopardy until late within the season, when issues got tense.

Jackson had phrases with Sveum within the dugout over being pulled after 4 innings in a recreation at Milwaukee. The subsequent day, Samardzija got into it with third-base coach David Bell over defensive positioning. That, too, occurred in the dugout. Later that week, Kevin Gregg nearly was launched following a rant to reporters after he thought he misplaced the closer’s job.

In spite of everything that, Epstein let Sveum dangle when he was asked about his standing, saying the manager would be evaluated on the finish of the season.

Epstein insisted the overhaul is on the right track.

“Soon, our organization will transition from a section wherein we now have been primarily acquiring young expertise to a part by which we will promote a lot of our best prospects and really field a very young, very gifted club at the major league stage,” he mentioned. “The dropping has been arduous on all of us, but we now have one of many top farm methods in baseball, some of the highest prospects in the sport, and a transparent path forward.

“To ensure that us to win with this group – and win consistently – we must have the best possible environment for younger gamers to study, develop and thrive at the main league degree.”

Information from The Related Press was used in this report.

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Alfonso Soriano drives in career-high seven runs; D-Backs complete sweep of Orioles

After getting locked in with two house runs and a career-high six RBIs within the Yankees 14-7 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, Alfonso Soriano stayed there on Wednesday when he related for 2 more dwelling runs and a set one other new career-excessive with seven RBIs. That is proper, 4 dwelling runs and 13 complete runs pushed in over the two days, which is two in need of the workforce’s two-day RBI document set by Tony Lazzeri in 1936.

Soriano continued his rampage in Wednesday’s 11-3 victory with a grand slam to straight away heart field off Jered Weaver in the first inning. One inning later, he doubled in two extra to push their result in 8-zero. In the fifth, the Angels have been still pitching to him — likely because he was leading off — so he homered but once more. Then in his fourth plate appearance the Angels lastly pitched round him a bit, though Soriano deserved credit score for laying off a pair sliders that he typically flails at. He is positively in a great place proper now, both mentally and physically.

From MLB.com:

“Right here, it is like extra motivation,” defined Soriano, who returned to the Yankees in a July 26 trade with the Cubs. “All of the players, they need to win. If you put the Yankees uniform on, you realize what it’s all about. It is all about wins. That is all I take to the game each night.”

Soriano became just one in every of three gamers in Major League historical past to drive in at the least six runs in consecutive games, according to the Elias Sports activities Bureau, joining the Rangers’ Rusty Greer in 1997 and the Brewers’ Geoff Jenkins in 2001.

“It is not unhealthy,” Soriano quipped. “You don’t see these days. I’ve to take these days, as a result of it isn’t easy sometimes getting one RBI in a single game. And I acquired thirteen in two games. So I’m very excited, very pleased.

The seven RBIs had been also essentially the most by a Yankee since Alex Rodriguez (of course) on Oct. 4, 2009.

Walkoff sweep: The Arizona Diamondbacks finished off a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a 3rd straight walkoff victory on Wednesday. After Paul Goldschmidt tied the game and later received it with a house run in extra innings on Tuesday, Aaron Hill basically did the same factor on Wednesday, solely with singles. In the ninth inning, a one-out RBI single gave Jim Johnson his third consecutive blown save — and league-main ninth overall. 5 innings later, Hill singled again off newly acquired starter Bud Norris as Arizona finally celebrated the four-3 victory.

MORE SCORES

Reds 5, Cubs zero: Cincinnati completes the sweep behind seven shutout innings from Bronson Arroyo.

Marlins 5, Royals 2: Three hits for Justin Ruggiano as he snaps of an zero for forty two hunch.

Tigers 6, White Sox four: Miguel Cabrera homered for the fifth time in six games, because that is what Miguel Cabrera does. Even on one leg.

Indians 9, Twins eight (12 inn.): Joe Mauer tied the sport with a solo home run in the tenth and within the process tied a profession-excessive with five hits. It wasn’t sufficient, though, as Jason Giambi’s three-run eighth inning residence run helped Cleveland overcome an eight-four deficit.

Rockies four, Padres 2: A outstanding double play by Yorvit Torrealba helped Colorado maintain on.

Rays 5, Mariners four: Tampa Bay rallies for 2 within the ninth capped by Jason Bourgeois’ recreation-profitable single.

Francisco Liriano will get congratulations on his stellar performance. (USA Immediately) Pirates 5, Cardinals 1: These frightened that Pittsburgh’s devastating loss on Tuesday can be their undoing can loosen up. Francisco Liriano has every little thing below management.

Blue Jays four, Pink Sox 3 (10 inn.): Walkoffs are on this week. Toronto wins on Brett Lawrie’s tenth inning single.

Nationals 6, Giants 5: Denard Span dives to the rescue for Washington.

Braves 6, Phillies 3: Craig Kimbrel converted his twenty eighth consecutive save attempt.

Rangers 5, Brewers four: Texas plated three within the seventh to take Matt Garza off the hook.

Astros 2, A’s 1: Similar painful script for Oakland. Chris Younger simply missed a walk-off homer for the second straight game.

Dodgers 5, Mets 4 (12 inn.): Andre Ethier’s ninth inning two-run homer tied the game for Los Angeles. Adrian Gonzalez later received it with — you got it — a walkoff single.

”He really has a shin that is all black and blue. It’s terrible, it’s terrible trying, nevertheless it actually seemed a bit of bit higher right this moment. He is still pretty sore. As a manager, you virtually really feel dangerous playing him. I can tell that he’s hurting, however he wanted to play today, so I put him in there.”

— Jim Leyland on taking part in Miguel Cabrera.

(USA At the moment) The great occasions by no means end in LA. Adrian Gonzalez will get the most recent Powerade bathtub.

• The Dodgers have gained a franchise document 12 straight one-run games.

• The Phillies formally launched Delmon Young.

• After blowing three saves in fifty four possibilities final season, Jim Johnson has blown three consecutive saves two different occasions in 2013. (by way of ESPN Stats & Data)

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Matt Garza traded to Texas Rangers in three-player deal that includes Mike Olt

(Getty Images)

Major League Baseball has suspended Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun for the remainder of 2013. Braun, embattled by PED accusations related to the Biogenesis case, is suspended immediately and without pay, according to the commissioner’s office.

MLB announced Braun was in violation of baseball’s joint drug prevention and treatment program, but didn’t offer specifics about Braun’s violations. The suspension amounts to 65 games for the 2011 NL MVP, who successfully appealed a PED suspension in 2012. This makes him the first star connected to Biogenesis to fall, though as many as 20 suspensions are reportedly on the way.

Per MLB’s announcement, Braun has accepted his punishment, though in his statement he never admits to using performance-enhancing drugs. It’s an alarming about-face for Braun, who has vehemently denied PED use over the past two seasons.

“As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it is has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization. I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in Milwaukee and around the country. Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed – all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love.”

Rob Manfred MLB’s executive vice president for economics and league affairs added:

“We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions. We all agree that it is in the best interests of the game to resolve this matter. When Ryan returns, we look forward to him making positive contributions to Major League Baseball, both on and off the field.”

Braun is one of the handful of players connected to Tony Bosch’s Miami-area Biogenesis clinic, which was exposed as an alleged PED supplier in January. Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta are among the other players who have been linked to Biogenesis.

When Braun was connected to the clinic through a report from Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan and Tim Brown, the Brewers star said he only hired Bosch as a consultant during his suspension appeal:

“During the course of preparing for my successful appeal last year, my attorneys, who were previously familiar with Tony Bosch, used him as a consultant. More specifically, he answered questions about T/E ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples. There was a dispute over compensation for Bosch’s work, which is why my lawyer and I are listed under ‘moneys owed’ and not on any other list. I have nothing to hide and have never had any other relationship with Bosch. I will fully cooperate with any inquiry into this matter.”

(Getty Images) Braun’s steadfast denial earlier this year echoed the statement he gave in 2012 after winning his appeal, in which he maintained that he was clean and innocent:

“I am very pleased and relieved by today’s decision. It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.

“We provided complete cooperation throughout, despite the highly unusual circumstances. I have been an open book, willing to share details from every aspect of my life as part of this investigation, because I have nothing to hide. I have passed over 25 drug tests in my career, including at least three in the past year.”

Braun’s adamance that he never used PEDs and his one-that-go-away status is why many pundits believed MLB pursued him as hard it did this time around. Braun being the first suspension announced points toward his camp brokering a deal with MLB.

Last week, Michael Weiner, the executive direction of the player’s association, told reporters that suspensions would likely come in 2014 unless a player had struck a deal the league. He told the New York Daily News:

“We’re not interested in having players with overwhelming evidence that they violated the (drug) program out there. Most of the players aren’t interested in that. We’d like to have a clean program.”

Now we wait to see what happens to A-Rod and the rest. The first message sent here, with this first suspension? Bud Selig and MLB aren’t playing around.

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Fantasy Trade Spin: Matt Garza to the Rangers for Mike Olt, CJ Edwards, others

Matt Garza, on the move (Getty Images)

Matt Garza has been the subject of trade speculation for months, so nobody can claim to have been blindsided by Monday’s news: Garza has finally been dealt to the Rangers in exchange for a package of prospects.

Chicago will receive Triple-A third baseman Mike Olt, starter Justin Grimm, Single-A right-hander C.J. Edwards, plus a player to be named later. Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan and Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal were all over this deal on Monday, and various others have doggedly tracked this thing through the rumor stage.

Without question, Garza is a nice boost for a Texas rotation swimming in injuries. The Rangers have been forced to rely on Grimm and Josh Lindblom for a combined 22 starts this season, yet they still only trail the division-leading A’s by three games. We don’t have the usual N.L.-to-A.L. fears with Garza, because he’s already been a successful starter in the junior circuit over multiple seasons. He gave us three useful fantasy campaigns with the Rays not so long ago…

2008 – 30 GS, 184.2 IP, 128 Ks, 3.70 ERA, 1.24 WHIP
2009 – 32 GS, 203.0 IP, 189 Ks, 3.95 ERA, 1.26 WHIP
2010 – 32 GS, 204.2 IP, 150 Ks, 3.91 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

…and, at age 29, he’s pitching as well as ever.

Obviously Texas in mid-summer isn’t the friendliest environment, but Garza has won his last five starts for the Cubs (no small achievement), and he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any game since June 11. It seems reasonable to expect good-not-great ratios the rest of the way from Garza — think 3.96 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 7.3 K/9 — and a decent win total. Go chase him, A.L.-only owners. It may not get much better than this at the deadline.

Mike Olt (Getty) Chicago received a respectable prospect haul, as the team dealt two-and-a-half months of Garza for a handful of notable maybes. Olt, 24, is perhaps the most familiar name in fantasy circles, because he made a cameo appearance in the big leagues last season. He entered 2013 ranked by Baseball America as the game’s No. 22 overall prospect, second only to Jurickson Profar in Texas’ system. However, after having a terrific year in the Texas League in 2012 (28 HR,288/.398/.579), Olt has struggled at Triple-A Round Rock. He’s hitting just213/.317/.422 with 11 homers and 89 Ks, although his difficulties can be partially attributed to an eye disorder for which he’s received treatment.

Olt has also been taking tips from Manny Ramirez, and he’s homered in three of his last five games. The kid remains a legit prospect at a talent-scarce roster spot. If he puts together a few solid weeks, we’ll see him in a Cubs uniform this season. Consider him a lottery ticket in the power cat’s, certainly worth a bid in N.L.-only.

Edwards, 21, is having a phenomenal year in the Sally League — 8-2, 1.83 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 122 Ks in 93.1 IP — and he hasn’t allowed a home run in any of his 18 starts, an impressive feat at any level. And apparently he has giant hands, if you’re into that sort of thing. Grimm has been lit up in the majors this season (6.37 ERA, 1.65 WHIP), and Triple-A hasn’t been a picnic for him, either (career 4.29 ERA, 1.32 WHIP). His ceiling is probably No. 3 or 4 starter. Classic Cub, basically.

No need to declare a winner or loser in this deal, as it seems like a reasonable move on both sides. Texas upgraded its big league rotation, with the division flag within reach. Chicago enhanced an already well-stocked farm system (Baez, Almora, Soler, Bryant, et al). Well done, by both teams — a model for our future fantasy dealings.

You may now return to your Ryan Braun freakout, already in progress…